A recent article by UEP professor Julian Agyeman and co-author Duncan MacLaren has been featured in the latest issue of Time Magazine. The article, titled ‘Smart Cities’ Should Mean ‘Sharing Cities’ highlights issues of inequality in cities’ attempts to develop technology and attract businesses.
“After researching leading cities around the world, we’ve concluded that truly smart cities will be those that deploy modern technology in building a new urban commons to support communal sharing.”
Cities that invest in modern information and computing technology without accounting for social externalities miss the point of urban living.
“The physical nature of urban space demands—and in some ways, facilitates—sharing: of resources, infrastructures, goods, services, experiences and capabilities.”
As “sharing technologies” are increasingly co-opted by venture capital for rapid growth and competition, they lose sight of their original social purposes.
“Humans are natural sharers. Traditional, old-fashioned face-to-face sharing still happens in communities everywhere, but it has largely broken down in modern cities in the face of commercialization of the public realm, and of rapid, destabilizing economic and technological change.”
More on this topic can be found at Agyeman’s blog and in his and MacLaren’s forthcoming book, Sharing Cities (MIT Press 2015).